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Monday, January 30, 2017

2017 FANTASY BASEBALL PROSPECT WATCH: YOAN MONCADA 3B/OUTFIELDER CHICAGO WHITE SOX

For a guy who has only 20 major league at-bats under his belt, Chicago White Sox super prospect Yoan Moncada certainly has a loyal following already in the fantasy baseball community.  That is what happens when you get signed out of Cubs by the high-profile Boston Red Sox amid great fanfare and then become the prime piece dealt to the Chicago White Sox in the trade that brought ace Chris Sale to Beantown.  Still just 21-years-old, Moncada is considered the number 1 prospect in the game and already is becoming a prime and highly sought after sleeper in 2017 fantasy baseball drafts.  Moncada is already working out at the White Sox spring training facility in Arizona amid talk the team will convert him to becoming an outfielder and that move along would add more versatility to a guy who carries third base eligibility heading into the new season.

Now in terms of the numbers and Moncada's game is concerned, think Manny Machado with better wheels here.  Yes that is a very lofty comparison to say the least but Moncada has that type of vast ceiling given his blazing speed and burgeoning power.  While Moncada strikes out too much (30.9 percent at Double-A in 2016), he stole 49 and 36 bases in A-Ball and swiped 0 in just 209 at-bats last season at Double-A.  Pitchers have some holes they can attack on Moncada like they do with most other young hitters who swing hard but again the tools here all point to a future 20/20 guy who can even better those ratios if he continues to develop at a high rate.

In terms of what to do with Moncada for 2017 fantasy baseball, you are going to have to pay a decent price to land him in the middle rounds given the hype here and that is what makes this play a big dicey.  For one thing, Moncada may very well begin the year in the minors to further learn the outfield and get his bat more up to speed.  A promotion in May would seem to be the most realistic path for Moncada and that alone should give you pause about paying the sticker price.  However five months of Moncada could be sweet and so a middle round pick is not totally crazy.  Ultimately if the draft turns into the second half of rounds, then feel free to strike.  Otherwise let someone else pay top dollar for a guy who may not fire fully until 2018.


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